CAPACCIO: Trade of Dareus yet another sign new Bills' regime won't be swayed from plan

October 28, 2017
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If there were any doubt, any whatsoever, that the new Bills' regime was going to stick to their plan, and not be swayed by what looks to be a more-promising-than-thought season, Friday night should put that notion to rest once and for all.

It’s not just that the team traded a player as talented as Marcell Dareus, or that they only got a conditional sixth-round draft pick in return for him.  Or even that they did it with the willingness to eat $24 million in dead salary cap space over the next season and a half.  It’s that they did all of that while actually winning games and having a real chance to end their seventeen year playoff drought.  They traded a player who is good enough to help them do that.  Yet they did it with the conviction that it won't change the positive direction the season is already going.    

Can you imagine if this move was made in August, before the season started? Imagine if it was made around the same time the team traded away Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby?  Many fans and media were already dubbing the season a “tank,” saying the team was getting rid of their best players in order to go to the bottom and get the best draft pick they can.

What if this move has been included at the time, too? Some would probably feel the league should step in and stop them from becoming so incredibly bad on purpose.

But, they didn’t do it then. They did it in late October, after seven regular season weeks, with their record sitting at 4-2.  What would have been a move seen as tanking, is suddenly embraced as one of proactivity, shrewdness, and a calculated part of the process.

The former number-three overall draft pick was simply never going to fit in with head coach Sean McDermott’s and GM Brandon Beane’s vision for this club. Even though he was given a clean slate when they walked in the door, Dareus immediately dirtied it when he was late for a preseason game in Baltimore, then basically laughed-off questions about being sent home because of it when he met with reporters a couple days later. 

Could he have regained their trust and confidence? Perhaps. But given his history, one already riddled with team and league suspensions, on top of questions about his commitment to the team and his own body, that would have taken two monumental leaps.  The first from Dareus himself, to get to a place both physically and mentally he hadn’t been and still appeared unwilling to go.  The other a leap of faith in him by McDermott and Beane.  

Neither was happening.

Maybe Dareus goes to Jacksonville and, under his former coach Doug Marrone (who twice suspended him for tardiness while the two were together in Buffalo), he rediscovers his commitment to the game, himself, and his team, and regains his Pro Bowl form.  

Maybe the Jags see exactly what the Bills have seen in him over the past three years and decide to cut bait after this or next season, too.

Either way it goes, it won’t matter to McDermott or Beane.  They have a plan for the future and they’re sticking to it no matter what.  Dareus simply wasn’t in those plans.   And if there’s one thing we’ve learned about these two men now running the show, if you’re not in their plan for the future, they have no room for you in the present, either.

 

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